Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wilmington NC 2013 Birding Trip

We’re back from our annual birding expedition to the east coast. This year our group birded the Cape Fear river basin which is just south of Wilmington, N.C. We were gone for four days, only counted 101 species, ate our way through Cape Fear, and generally had a good time. None of us seem to have an accurate count of how many years we've visited the coast over fall break. The count is as high as eight and as few as six. Either way, we've gotten to like this trip and the visit to the coast.

Places we visited this year: Cape Fear, Airlie Gardens, the Mason Inlet Water Bird Management Area at Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach State Park, Green Swamp, Lake Waccamaw, Fort Fisher, Southport-Cape Fear Ferry Landing, Wilmington City Park

A partial list: blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, black-crowned night heron, herons, Bald eagle, mute swan, painted bunting, towhee, merlin, clapper rail, moorhen, black-bellied plover, semipalmated plover, piping plover, four species of gulls, five species of terns, four species of doves, ruby-throated hummingbird, six species of woodpeckers, tree swallow, one lone robin, all three mimics, Northern parula, several other warblers. We tried for red-cockaded woodpecker on the way down in the Sandhills region without any luck.

What I ate: Whiting, She crab soup, fried oysters, fried clam sandwich, grilled shrimp, seafood bisque at places like Big Daddy’s in Carolina Beach and the South Beach Grill in Wrightsville Beach.

Who also went: Jack and Katy Litz, Joe McGuiness, Kim Stroud, Diane Draper, April Mattes, Don Holt, Vern Maddux, Kathy Noblet. We probably put 800 miles on the cars. Wilmington is a long ways from Johnson City and not reached by Interstate.

All of us are probably now ready, after a few days to do laundry, sleep in our own beds, to go back!


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